Want to Work for a Startup? Start Something First

by John Gannon | Mashable.com

So, you want to ditch the corporate life and go work for a startup. Cool, but do you really understand what that would mean?

Steve Blank, one of the fathers of the Lean Startup revolution, defines a startup as “an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.” What does that mean? Well, that the company either doesn’t have a working product, it has a working product that no one will buy, or it has a product that sells but can’t figure out how to market and sell the product profitably.

Translation: Working at a startup is nothing short of chaos. You’re trying to make something from nothing (at worst) or trying to fix all of the things that exist but that aren’t working (at best). Oh, and ideally before you run out of money.

Given all of this insanity that goes on, how do you prove to a hiring manager at a startup that you have what it takes? How will he or she know that you’re the kind of person who understands the highs as well as the lows and who can push through the dips that you’ll inevitably experience working at a startup?

It’s pretty simple, actually:

Start something first.